When your tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms over the extraction site to protect and heal your underlying bone and nerve endings. This clot should remain in place until your gums heal and your mouth returns to normal.
The clot can sometimes become dislodged. If this occurs, you will suffer from a painful complication known as a dry socket. A dry socket is painful and slows healing. It is critical to try to avoid it.
Six Tips to Help You Prevent Dry Socket
To prevent dry sockets after tooth extraction, several tips and techniques are advised at Indian Creek Family Dentistry that can be used.
- Proper Aftercare
Proper aftercare is one of the essential things that can be done to prevent dry sockets. Following the extraction, your dentist will provide you with a list of instructions to follow, which should be carefully followed. Instructions could include:
- Avoid Smoking: Smoking can impede healing and increase the risk of dry sockets. Refraining from smoking for at least 48 hours after the extraction is best.
- Avoid using a straw: Using a straw creates suction in the mouth, which can dislodge the blood clot and increase the risk of dry sockets. Drink directly from a cup instead.
- After 24 hours, you can begin gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water to help keep the socket clean.
- Take pain relievers as directed: By reducing the need to touch the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, pain medication can help relieve discomfort and reduce the risk of dry sockets.
- Avoid eating solid foods: To avoid dislodging the blood clot, limit yourself to soft foods for the first few days after the extraction.
- Proper extraction technique
Another important factor in preventing dry sockets is the proper extraction technique. Your dentist should be well-versed in atraumatic techniques that minimize trauma to the surrounding tissue. Some methods for preventing dry sockets include:
- Use atraumatic techniques: Atraumatic extraction techniques reduce trauma to the surrounding tissue, lowering the risk of dry sockets.
- Maintain the blood clot: The blood clot that forms in the extraction socket is critical for proper healing. It is essential to keep the blood clot intact and avoid dislodging it to prevent dry sockets.
- Sutures should be used: Sutures can help keep the extraction site closed and the blood clot from dissolving.
- Apply a barrier dressing: To help protect the blood clot and reduce the risk of dry socket, a protective dressing can be placed over the extraction site during the tooth extraction in Trafalgar.
- Oral hygiene is essential
Maintaining good oral hygiene is critical to avoiding infection after tooth extraction. Brush your teeth gently, prevent the extraction site, and floss regularly. Keeping your mouth clean twice a day can help prevent bacteria from entering the socket, causing infection and increasing the risk of a dry socket.
- Avoid strenuous exercise
It is critical to avoid strenuous activities that can raise blood pressure or heart rate after tooth extraction. This could include heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. A dry socket can result from increased blood pressure dislodging the blood clot.
- Keep your head up
A dry socket can be reduced by sleeping with your head elevated. Elevating your head can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of a blood clot dislodging while you sleep.
- Check in with your dentist
Following up with your dentist after undergoing a tooth extraction near you is critical to ensure proper healing. Your dentist will keep track of your progress and, if necessary, may prescribe additional medications or treatments. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any dry socket symptoms, such as severe pain or bad breath.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Socket
Swelling and soreness are common side effects of tooth extraction surgery. It should be treatable with over-the-counter analgesics and completely gone three days after surgery. If your pain worsens, you may have a dry socket. Because a dry socket exposes bone and nerve tissue, the pain may be searing or cold.
Some of the dry socket symptoms include:
- A lot of pain a few days following the surgery
- Visible empty socket with missing or partially missing blood clot
- Pain radiating from the socket into the rest of the face and head
- Bad breath or foul odor in your mouth